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‘That was a huge mistake’

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Shoaib Akhtar played for Sourav Ganguly-led Kolkata Knight Riders in IPL 2008.

Sachin Tendulkar and Shoaib Akhtar
Sachin Tendulkar and Shoaib Akhtar. (Photo Source: Getty Images)

The rivalry between Sachin Tendulkar and Shoaib Akhtar made a lot of noise during their playing days. While the Indian batter gave Akhtar a tough time on numerous occasions, the Pakistan speedster dismissed Tendulkar eight times in international cricket. The right-arm pacer also dismissed Tendulkar once in the Indian Premier League (IPL) and that turned out to be a pretty unforgettable encounter for the Rawalpindi Express.

It was the game between Tendulkar-led Mumbai Indians and Sourav Ganguly’s Kolkata Knight Riders in the inaugural season of the competition in 2008. Back then, Pakistan players were participating in IPL. KKR were bundled out for a mediocre 67 while batting first at the Wankhede Stadium in Mumbai. Although MI comfortably won that game by eight wickets, Akhtar dismissed Tendulkar for a duck and the same didn’t go down well with the local crowd.

Sourav Ganguly told me ‘these people will kill you’: Shoaib Akhtar

Akhtar revealed that Ganguly had to change his fielding position amid the outburst from the spectators. “We had scored really less. When the match began, the atmosphere was electric. It was Sachin’s city, Mumbai. It was Sachin Tendulkar vs Shoaib Akhtar and we at KKR had Shahrukh Khan in the stadium as well,” Akhtar told SportsKeeda.

“The stadium and entire Mumbai was packed. Ahead of the match, we were having friendly chat and both Sachin and I greeted each other,” he added. Akhtar further called dismissing Tendulkar that day ‘a huge mistake’ as he had to face the backlash from the fans.

“It was a beautiful ground and a fantastic atmosphere. Stadium was fully packed. But I dismissed Sachin Tendulkar in the first over itself and that was a huge mistake. Then I got a lot of abuses when I was at fine leg,” recalled Akhtar. “Sourav Ganguly told me, Come to mid-wicket, these people will kill you. Who told you to dismiss Sachin? That too in Mumbai?” the 46-year-old further said.

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